The most powerful company in world’s history, and we’re talking here about Alphabet’s Google, started refunding a number of advertisers for ads they’ve bought via its platform (AdSense&comp) that was implemented on websites sporting fake traffic. Google vowed to introduce new safeguards in order to protect advertisers in the future via a new tool aimed at providing ad buyers with increased levels of transparency with regard to their purchases.
For the last couple of weeks, hundreds of ad agency partners and marketers were informed by Google about the fake traffic issue, also known as ad fraud in the industry. The ads were acquired via Google’s DoubleClick Bid Manager, especially in the second quarter of 2017. Google refunded the “burned” advertisers, but the refunds amount to only a fraction of the total cost of the ads served to fake-traffic websites, hence a number of advertising executives are not very happy to say the least.
The current crisis at Google was announced one month ago by Procter&Gamble, the gigantic consumer products corporation, and one of the biggest and most sophisticated advertisers world-wide, when they announced they’re reducing their online advertising expenditure, stating that, let me quote:
“digital ad spending was lower versus a high base period and due to current period choices to temporarily restrict spending in digital forums where our ads were not being placed according to our standards and specifications.”
In layman’s terms, Procter&Gamble said that online advertising was either faked via bots or it’s not as efficient as one may think, under-performing significantly. And obviously, the implications of Google’s admission corroborated with Procter&Gamble’s statement jeopardize the future revenue streams of both Facebook and Google, the two tech-behemoths which are completely reliant on online advertising. When something is free, like using Facebook and/or Google, it means you’re the merchandise, right?
A report from the Association of National Advertisers states that 6,5 billion dollars in ad spending are to be basically wasted in 2017 to fraud (fake traffic). The methods used by fake-traffickers range from highly sophisticated malware which forms a botnet that clicks on ads in the background while you’re surfing, to click-farms in India and Bangladesh.
For further reference about the biggest scandal in tech no one’s talking about, consider this: 60% of advertising “clicks” are generated by automated algos and/or bots, not by humans. And obviously, these bots don’t buy anything, like ever. And since 60% of the click ads are not human, the ad prices are clearly hugely overstated. For example, Procter and Gamble cut their online-marketing budget by $100,000,000 and found no impact (as in zero) on growth.
Think about it, did you ever click an ad except by accident? And there are companies spending billions annually on internet ads. I think this smacks of wire fraud which gives the government cause to use RICO to go after Google. Maybe Trump should have the DOJ freeze all of Google’s assets until they can clear this mess up.
“Who watches the watchmen?” When only a couple of companies control 99.999% of the flow of content from the world wide web, it truly begs the question.
Just like the news, only fake traffic.
Check out this article.